Have you ever asked yourself, what should i do if my business floods? Well, we ahve some valuable advice for you that can certainly help.
When we think of flooding, pictures of homes and the people who live in them often come to mind. However, businesses can also be devastated by the impact of high water. Here’s how to cope if your operation is struck by flood waters.
Preparing for a Flood
Flooding can occur anytime and anywhere. The best defense is to be prepared for a flood emergency.
Get flood insurance. You will need it. Keep in mind that it typically takes 30 days for an insurance policy to kick in. Check out the National Flood Insurance Program webpage for more information.
Have a business continuity plan. You must have a plan of action in case of a flood emergency. If you already have one, get together the resources you need to secure business operations. If you don’t, you’ll need to get a business impact analysis (BIA) done. This predicts how a disruption will likely impact the way your business functions and what recovery strategies are needed.
How to Handle a Flood
Here are some necessary steps you need to take if your business is hit with flood waters.
Reach out to employees, customers, and suppliers. Communication with these major players is vital to your business success.
Contact your insurance agent to start your flood insurance claim. Have your policy number and a phone number or email address where you can be reached.
Turn off the utilities. The services at the flood site need to be temporarily shut down. This will save you money as you won’t be using them. Turn the utilities back on when your business is ready to re-open.
Surveying Flood Damage
Always keep safety in mind while inspecting your property following a flood disaster. Never enter a flooded area where standing water may be energized. Use caution when re-entering buildings as there may be structural damage. Have a safety assessment done first. When it’s safe, go back inside and survey the damage. Determine what can be salvaged and how long recovery efforts might take. Begin the recovery process for documents and records. Start cleaning up.
Recovering from a Flood
Now it’s time to record the financial losses your property suffered. Here are a few key steps to follow.
Take inventory. Document all of the items that are missing or damaged. Snap Pictures. Take photos of everything inside and outside your property. Keep receipts. Record any expenses you incurred to temporarily protect your property from further damage. Make a claim. Follow the claims filing procedure in your insurance policy.
How to Flood-Proof Your Property
You can take measures to prevent future flood disasters from striking your property.
First, determine your base flood elevation, or BFE. This is the height that best reduces the chance your property will be damaged by flooding. Buildings should be at least three feet above the BFE.
Landscape with native plants and vegetation. This can help prevent soil erosion and allow flood waters to properly drain.
Raise electric components. Have a licensed electrician install switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring at least 12 inches above your BFE. Move HVAC equipment to an upper floor or build a flood proof wall around it.
Use flood resistant materials. These include floor and wall coverings and insulation. Most of these can handle direct contact with water for at least 72 hours.
Have backup power. Have a system in place to power vital equipment to keep your business running.
Let Us Handle the Mess
When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.